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Ken Burns sets Confederate flag lovers straight: It’s about ‘slavery slavery slavery’

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Ken Burns speaks to CBS (screen grab)

Historian Ken Burns reminded supporters of the Confederacy on Sunday that the Civil War had been primarily about slavery, and not states’ rights as many conservatives have claimed.

“You know, when the Constitutional Convention happened, there was a man named John J. Chapman, who said slavery was like a sleeping serpent,” Burns told CBS host John Dickerson. “It lay coiled under the table during the deliberations; thereafter, slavery was on everyone’s mind, if not always on his tongue.”

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“You know, we’ve grown up as country with a lot of powerful symbols of the Civil War in popular culture that would be ‘Birth of a Nation,’ D.W. Griffiths’ classic, and ‘Gone with the Wind,’ of course,” he explained. “And in that, it postulates, among other things, both films, that the Ku Klux Klan, which is a homegrown terrorist organization, was actually a heroic force in the story of the Civil War. So it’s no wonder that Americans have permitted themselves to be sold a bill of goods about what happened, oh, it’s about states’ rights, it’s about nullification, it’s about differences between cultural and political and economic forces that shaped the North and the South.”

But Burns recommended that Americans read South Carolina’s Articles of Secession to get the real story on why the states went to war against each other.

ALSO SEE: 60 years ago today, Emmett Till whistled at a white woman — and he was executed for it four days later

“[T]hey do not mention states’ rights. They mention slavery, slavery, slavery,” he pointed out. “And that we have to remember. It is much more complicated than that, but essentially the reason why we murdered each other — more than 2 percent of our population, 750,000 Americans died; that’s more than all the wars from the Revolution through Afghanistan combined — was over essentially the issue of slavery.”

According to Burns, the racism running through the DNA of America was still present in modern day politics.

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“The main American theme, I think, is freedom,” he noted. “But we also notice that race is always there. Always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime and sets in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.”

“And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society,” he continued. “And what we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another politer way of saying the N word. It’s just more sophisticated and a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.”

“What’s actually ‘other’ and different about him? It turns out it’s the same old thing. It’s the color of his skin.”

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Watch the video below from CBS’ Face the Nation, broadcast August 23, 2015.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Trump supporters yell ‘white power’ as 2020 convoy speeds through college town

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Supporters of President Donald Trump were caught on video over the weekend shouting "white power" as they participated in a convoy to bolster the Republican ticket.

The incident was said to have occurred in Elon, a small college town in North Carolina.

According to the Triad City Beat, the convoy was organized by conservative activist Gary Williamson, who coordinated with the local Young Republicans chapter.

Watch the video below.

Video clip shows supporters in a Trump convoy passing through Elon, NC shouting "White power!" two separate times. ACTBAC founder Gary Williamson organized the convoy, which coordinated w/ a Alamance County Young Republicans event #Election2020 #ncpol pic.twitter.com/VQo8Hmgkc0

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Activism

‘A bridge too far’: Fox News analyst destroys Barr’s ‘absurd’ desire to charge rioters with sedition

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Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former judge, on Thursday pushed back against Attorney General William Barr's call to charge violent protesters with sedition.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Barr told federal prosecutors that they could use sedition laws in cases where protests turn violent.

Napolitano explained during an appearance on Fox & Friends that charging protesters with sedition would be a "bridge too far."

"There's nothing wrong with aggressive prosecution," Napolitano said. "But this is not the case for sedition. I mean, the sedition laws -- which by the way, go back to 1798 -- the sedition laws were written for those who plan and plot to overthrow the government, either by violence or by some other means."

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Activism

‘It’s verboten?’ Newt Gingrich cries out after Fox News cuts him off for blaming violence on George Soros

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A Fox News panel shut down former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on Wednesday after he tried to blame George Soros for violent protests in America.

Gingrich brought up the liberal billionaire's name during a discussion about the cost of violence linked to anti-police protests.

"Look, the number one problem in almost all these cities is George Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up," Gingrich opined. "Progressive district attorney are anti-police, pro-criminal and overwhelmingly elected with George Soros' money and they are a major cause of the violence we're seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the streets."

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